Designer Biography, Mid Century Modern

Mid Century Modern Designer Spotlight: Georges Briard

It’s been forever since I’ve had a new blog post!  Life has gotten in the way of, uh…well…my best laid plans.  But, I’m back with another new post and this time we are focusing on Mid Century Designers!  Specifically Georges Briard!  I love, love, love his glassware designs.

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Georges Briard Spanish Gold Drinking Glasses @ Stone Creek Boutique

If you love mid-century housewares, Georges Briard is a name you should know! He is one of the most well-known designers of mid-century home goods. He was an artist and an award-winning designer of mid-century housewares including dishware, glassware, and gold-plated serving dishes. Here is Georges Briard’s story.

Georges Briard was born Jascha Brojdo in 1917 in the Ukraine. His family moved to Poland when he was four and he then emigrated to Chicago in 1937 after he came to visit his physician uncle. He studied at the University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago. While he was is Chicago, war broke out in Europe and both of his parents died. In a new country without an allowance to pay for his college education, he was granted a scholarship to finish his degree. After graduating with his MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, he enlisted in the United States Army. While in the Army, he served on General Patton’s staff as a Russian interpreter. He was discharged from the Army in 1947 and moved to New York City.

It was in New York City that he began his career as an artist and designer. When he was first starting out, he worked with Max Wille, whom he had met in art school. While Brojdo was on a trip to Maine, he started painting metal serving trays and selling them. These trays were a huge success. He signed some of his very first pieces with the name “Brojdo,” but then started using the name Georges Briard as a pseudonym after Wille came up with it. Brojdo was also a painter and would save using his own name on his artwork, and started using “Georges Briard” as a commercial designer. He used “Georges” to sound French and “Briard” was after a breed of dog that Wille had recently lost. You will see this signature on pieces like this:

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Georges Briard Square Serving Tray Golden Celeste @ Stone Creek Boutique

His designs became incredibly popular in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. His notable designs were first produced with Max Wille at the M. Wille Company, and then he later partnered with Philip Stetson. His signature collection of dishware and glassware was originally sold at Neiman Marcus and Bonwit Teller, and now you can buy vintage pieces here:

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In 2004, he won the Frank S. Child Lifetime Achievement Award from The Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators. He won this award in honor of his extraordinary contributions to the glass and ceramic decorating industry. His pieces are truly amazing to collect. Pieces like these are easy to recognize by his amazing design:

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Georges Briard Serving Tray Sonata @ Stone Creek Boutique

He died on July 30, 2005 in New York City when he was 88 years old. The best way to honor this legendary designer is to enjoy and share his amazing designs!

If you would like to learn more about Georges Briard, you can read Designed & Signed by Leslie A. Pina.

Until Next Time,

Kathie

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